Do you think that you need to drop a monthly payment at the rec center in order to get into great shape? The marketing machine behind these businesses have done an excellent job at convincing most people that they need access to all the high-tech equipment that only gyms could afford in order to lose fat and build muscle.

This could not be further from the truth.

For proof, look at professional gymnasts. Although they do use some pieces of equipment that most people do not have (pommel horses and parallel bars, for example), these people have gotten into fantastic shape mostly by using their own body weight as resistance for their exercises. With these easy at home exercises, you too can get into the best shape of your life without needing to drive across town to a packed gym.

The Push Up

This one's a classic and one you are doubless familiar with. But it is for good reason. The push up is one of the most effective upper exercises, and even utilizes more muscle groups than the bench press! Push ups are performed by supporting your body completely straight with your feet together and your arms slightly shoulder width apart underneath you on the ground. Slowly lower yourself down to the ground and back up again for one rep.

The Pull Up

Pull ups are another essential upper body exercise. You'll need a bar or other sturdy object that can support your body weight for this one. Grab onto the bar with an overhand grip with your hands shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your chin can touch the bar and lower yourself back down with control for one rep.

The Plank

Forget crunches, planks are the only core exercise you'll ever need to do again. Start out in the same position that you would use to do a push up but lower yourself down to your elbows. Now hold your body completely straight for as long as you can.

Squats

You do not need a barbell sagging with weights to get an awesome squat workout. In fact, you are probably better off not doing back squats due to the damage it can do to your back. Instead, focus on body weight squats to build a strong lower body. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Now bend your knees and sit back until you can go no further. Now push back up to complete one rep.

Two to three times per week, perform all four of these exercises, doing 3 sets of reps to fatigue. With these easy at home exercises, you will get in much better shape than all the gym rats without even needing to step foot outside.